Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) works for some fabulous tech company and wins a week to stay with the founder of the company – the elusive Nathan (Oscar Isaac). After a long helicopter ride, he finds himself at an amazing property in the middle of nowhere. He discovers that Nathan is a mysterious alcoholic with a non-English speaking, Japanese servant, Kyoko (Sonoya Mizuno) and that he is not on a break, but has a task. He is to see if the robot woman that Nathan has developed, Ava (Alicia Vikander) can pass as human.
Exhausting, stunning, clever, wonderful, fantastic, I just loved it. It’s creepy but beautiful and raises a lot of questions about what we value in life and how we interact with the world around us. Since I watched this, Ex Machina keeps popping onto my head. I can’t recommend this enough – although I think if you cannot stand scifi, you probably won’t connect with this one.
Ex Machina won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects and was nominated for Best Writing, Original Screenplay. It was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Alicia Vikander) and for BAFTAs for Best British Film, Best Supporting Actress (Alicia Vikander), Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects and Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer.
We’re back in the early days of X-Men. The really early days – there is a dude back in ancient Egypt who is a mutant, who rules as a god on earth and takes powers from other mutants. Luckily, there are some good guys who manage to trap him in the Earth for thousands of years. Unfortunately, he gets free and tries to take over. He’s always had four sidekicks, and this time is no different: he takes Angel (Ben Hardy ), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Psylocke (Olivia Munn) and our old favourite, Magneto (Michael Fassbender). So it is up to Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and his guys to save the world.
For me, as someone who came to the X-Men films with no prior comic knowledge, this is all starting to get a bit confusing. Don’t get me wrong, I still love it. I love all the explosions and the craziness, and especially the powers, but I get a bit lost. Who is what? What powers do they have? Who is good and who is bad? And what’s the story with Magneto – after constantly being in these battle where he seems to (spoiler – I think?) change from the bad side to help the good, why does he keep being bad? What? I know I’ll keep watching these films and getting more and more confused, and I don’t really mind as long as they keep the special effects fancy and the costumes cool.
It’s many years later. Darth Vader and the Emperor and the Dark Side are all gone. Now, there is The First Order. Ruled by a mysterious creature, but still using a huge bunch of Storm Troopers and with a dude with a mask and cape quite similar to Darth Vader. But there is hope, there is a still a resistance, still with Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) at the helm. Then there are other good folks who get drawn in – the absolutely delightful Finn (John Boyega), the gutsy and fabulous Rey (Daisy Ridley), the far too handsome pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), and they manage to bring back Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), both as kick arse as ever.
After disliking or, at the very lease, being totally disinterested, about the Star Wars films for so long, I didn’t want to see this. Then reviews started coming in saying that it was pretty darned good, and I started to have a slight interest. And then I went and saw it and LOVED IT! What a surprise. It was fun and funny and spectacular. Mind you, I’m not keen on seeing it again, because I suspect that is one of my problems with rewatching the first films too many times – when I knew what was coming, I was far less interesting. Not knowing what was going to happen was awesome, and then there were a lot of things that were just about nods to the past. And that was nice, too.